This excerpt taken from the HMC 6-K filed Sep 14, 2005.
Key Honda Initiatives
In the motorcycle segment, demand continued to expand in Asia, where motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation. By offering attractive products at competitive prices, Honda significantly increased unit sales, greatly boosting its motorcycle business, which is Hondas origin. We also introduced new sports bikesincorporating advanced technologies developed through racing activitiesto the European, North American and Japanese markets. In these ways, we strove to deliver products that meet the needs of customers around the world.
During the year, we continued working actively in the interests of safety and the environment. For example, we completed the transformation of all motorcycles into four-stroke models*1. We also equipped small-displacement models with programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI)*2, thus making emissions even cleaner. In addition, we equipped more models with our original Hydraulic Combined Braking System with ABS*3.
Unit sales is the total of sales of completed products of Honda and its consolidated subsidiaries, and sales of parts for affiliates accounted for under the equity method. Unit sales of Honda-brand motorcycle products 100% locally procured, manufactured and sold by overseas equity-method affiliates are not included in unit sales.
This original Honda system is designed to enhance fuel efficiency and lower emissions. It employs various sensors to monitor engine operating status and a computer to calculate the optimal amounts of fuel required. The system then delivers those amounts to the engine cylinders. Honda adapted its PGM-FI system, originally developed for automobiles, to motorcycles by reducing the number of parts to make it more compact and less expensive.
This original Honda development integrates a hydraulic combined braking system, which links both front and rear wheels when the left brake lever is engaged, with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), which prevents the front and rear wheels from locking when the brake is engaged too forcefully.
Note: Although this system is designed to support the braking action, both the front-and rear-wheel brakes should still be applied simultaneously.
Honda is committed to providing comprehensive safety solutions with its Safety for Everyone initiative. By the end of 2006, all Honda and Acura models sold in the United States and Canada will feature front-side airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and pedestrian safety technologies in all but a few niche models; with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and side curtain airbags with rollover sensors as standard features in all light trucks. Finally, Hondas Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure is being introduced to all vehicles as new platforms are introduced during full model changeovers.
In the automobile segment, we increased sales in the U.S. market by introducing new models in the light truck segment. In China and elsewhere in Asia, the automobile market continued to expand, and we achieved remarkable growth thanks to the high profile of the Honda brand. In Europe, where demand for diesel-powered vehicles is increasing, we unveiled models equipped with Hondas original diesel engines. In Japan, meanwhile, overall demand remained low. We responded by strengthening the appeal of our products, strengthening our sales system to ensure customer satisfaction and raising our profitability. Through these initiatives in various regions, we steadily solidified our automobile business.
We worked hard to enhance the environmental and safety aspects of our automobiles. In addition to further improving fuel economy in all vehicles, we endeavored to make the emissions of our vehicles even cleaner. We also expanded our lineup of hybrid models, and in Japan and the United States we began leasing the FCX, a fuel cell vehicle incorporating our original next-generation fuel cell stack, which we developed in-house. In the United States and Canada, we promoted our Safety for Everyone*4 campaign.
In the power products segment, we supplied a variety of items that benefit customers around the world. These included general-purpose engines, generators, pumps, brush cutters, outboard engines and lawnmowersall designed from the perspectives of safety and the environment. At the same time, we sought to expand our business through a variety of activities. We also developed and promoted a compact, home-use cogeneration unit*5 incorporating a natural gas-powered engine.
By embracing challenges in these ways across our various regions, we achieved solid growth in all of our businesses. In fiscal 2005, the final year of our mid-term business plan, we sold 10.48 million motorcycles, up 4.39 million units (72.0%), compared with fiscal 2002. We also sold 3.24 million automobiles, up 576,000 units (21.6%), and 5.3 million power product units, up 1.37 million units (35.0%).
Net sales in fiscal 2005 reached ¥8,650.1 billion, up 17.5% from the previous year. Net income jumped 34.0%, to ¥486.1 billion, due partly to a significant increase in income from earnings of affiliates accounted for under the equity method. In short, Hondas financial results have improved dramatically over the past three years.